The new tax on flying does not break European law or international air treaties, the high court in The Hague ruled on Thursday, upholding a lower court decision.
The case was brought by Maastricht airport, Ryanair and the airline lobby group Barin.
From July 1, people leaving from Dutch airports have to pay an extra €11.25 on short-haul and €45 on long-haul flights.
Earlier KLM director Peter Hartman said in an interview with Thursday’s Volkskrant that the new tax will cost KLM between 500,000 and one million passengers this year,
The number of ticket sales are going down ‘shockingly’ quickly, Hartman told the paper. In particular, KLM’s budget airline Transavia has been hit.
‘Cost-conscious customers are looking for alternatives abroad. We’ve have warned about this and now it is happening,’ he said. KLM and Transavia carried 23.4 million passengers last year.
A €105 Transavia flight to Montpellier includes €75 in taxes and surcharges.
The cabinet has ‘severely underestimated’ the effect of the tax, which will damage KLM, Schiphol airport and the Netherlands, Hartman said.
Hartman said budget airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair are partly to blame for the new tax. ‘If you advertise tickets to Nice for €10, then it is not mad that politicians think ‘flying is so cheap, lets put on an extra tax,’ the Volkskrant reported him as saying.
High oil prices are also affecting KLM, Hartman admitted. ‘Flying is becoming increasingly expensive because high fuel costs are partly passed on to customers. Expensive tickets hit demand.’
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